Study Guide

Four Part 1

By Veronica Roth

Part 1

The Transfer

  • Our narrator, whom we know is Tobias because we read the book's blurb (his name isn't revealed in the actual text for at least thirty pages), wakes up from a simulation, screaming.
  • His lip is bleeding, and he assumes he bit it during the simulation.
  • The simulation administrator, Tori, asks Tobias if he knew the simulation wasn't real.
  • He says he thought it was real.
  • She gives him his faction results: "Your result was textbook Abnegation." (1.6) What textbook?
  • Tobias isn't surprised. He thinks about how his father coached him to receive that result.
  • Before he leaves, though, Tori tells Tobias, "You're the one who has to live with your choice." (1.15)
  • Aptitude testing works up an appetite, so Tobias goes to the cafeteria to eat.
  • No one talks to him. He doesn't seem to have any friends.
  • When all the aptitude tests are finished, everyone is released. The Abnegation, Tobias's faction, waits until everyone else leaves.
  • But Tobias doesn't follow the rest of his faction. He runs down an alley and an empty street.
  • He passes a building that isn't quite abandoned. There's a little grill inside.
  • Tobias climbs through the window to check it out.
  • A man shows up and asks what he's doing there.
  • Tobias says, "I saw fire. That's all." (1.34)
  • The man says he's factionless and this is his house.
  • He also recognizes Tobias as Evelyn Eaton's son.
  • Tobias wants to know how this man knows his dead mother. He says she used to volunteer with the Abnegation.
  • Tobias thinks the man is lying. There's no way this man remembers his mother for just handing out soup. No one remembers who gave them soup unless that person is the Soup Nazi. 
  • The man asks Tobias which faction he got in his aptitude test, but Tobias says he's not supposed to tell anyone.
  • Even though Tobias didn't ask for advice, the man gives it "Resisting is worth doing." (1.55)
  • Tobias insults the homeless man, saying, "Look where resisting got you." (1.57)
  • The man says he'd "rather eat out of a can than be strangled by a faction." (1.58) Depends on what's in the can, right?
  • Tobias returns home, where his dad, Marcus, wants to know about the aptitude test.
  • Tobias tells him he got Abnegation. Marcus asks, "Nothing else?" (1.68) Nope, nothing else.
  • Marcus also wants to know if anything strange happened during his test. Nope, nothing strange.
  • Marcus says that his council members are coming over, so Tobias needs to eat early and go to his room.
  • He scarfs down some food and goes to his room.
  • Tobias hears Marcus's council members come over, including Andrew Prior, who, if you read Divergent, you know is Tris's pops.
  • To comfort himself, Tobias pulls a trunk out from under his bed.
  • His mom gave him this trunk, and inside it he keeps a bunch of mementos, something the Abnegation aren't supposed to do.
  • He falls asleep with a little blue sculpture in his hand.
  • Tobias wakes when he hears Marcus stomping down the hallway.
  • All his tchotchkes are still out, so he flings them in the trunk and shoves it under the bed.
  • But he forgets the blue sculpture! He stuffs it under his pillow.
  • Marcus comes in and Tobias looks all suspicious. It's like this scene from American Pie, but not funny.
  • Marcus forces Tobias to give him the key to the trunk and he is aghast—aghast!—that there's stuff in there!
  • He pushes Tobias and is about to hit him, when Tobias reminds him, "The Choosing Ceremony, Dad!" (1.115)
  • This warning keeps Marcus from bruising his son's face.
  • Instead, he returns with a belt and whips the stuffing out of him.
  • Tobias has to sleep on his stomach that night because of all the welts on his back.
  • As he gets ready for the Choosing Ceremony the next day, Tobias keeps telling himself, "I have to get out" (1.138) (1.141) (1.146) Do you think he wants out?
  • Finally, they call his name. He walks to the choosing bowls, where Tori is standing.
  • She gives him some pretty fierce eye contact.
  • He cuts his hand with the ceremonial knife and makes his choice: Dauntless. He is free at last!
  • The Dauntless swoop in and almost make a mosh pit of the place.
  • After the ceremony, they all run for the trains and jump on.
  • When a man named Amar asks his name, Tobias gives him some patented Dauntless attitude: "You can call me "Stiff" for all I care," (1.208) which is a disparaging name for the Abnegation.
  • Now it's time to jump into the Pit. If you remember this scene from Divergent, Tris jumps first.
  • Tobias isn't that brave. He jumps dead last.
  • At the bottom of the Pit, Tobias gets put into an initiation group with Amar.
  • Amar gives them the tour of the place, including the fear simulation room, where he's going to show an initiate named Eric how the fear simulation works.
  • He injects him with fear serum and everyone watches as Eric mentally faces his fears. All twelve of them.
  • Eric has remarkable composure, and Tobias brands him "someone to watch out for." (1.275)
  • Once again, Tobias is the last to go. It's time to face his fears. They are:
  • Heights/Falling
  • Small spaces (claustrophobia)
  • Shooting a woman, which Tobias interprets to be fear "of hidden violence" inside of him (1.297)
  • His father
  • Amar is impressed that Tobias only has four fears.
  • At the dining hall, Amar asks Tori if she's ever heard of someone with only four fears.
  • Nope, says Tori, "the record [is] seven or eight" (1.322)
  • Eric asks Tobias what his name is, and hints that he knows Tobias's real name, but Tobias doesn't want to give it.
  • "My name is Four," (1.332) he says. It doesn't quite have the ring of Bond, James Bond, but it'll do.